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Real business story

It's The Small Things podcast: Paul Kelly, owner, KellyBronze

Small changes like implementing a simple staff bonus scheme have proved transformational at turkey breeders KellyBronze, a family business proving you don't just have to take the old way of doing things as gospel.

The fourth episode of this season of It’s The Small Things welcomes KellyBronze owner and MD Paul Kelly.

He helped turn the Christmas turkey business into a multi-million pound family-run empire that counts the Royal family, Jamie Oliver and Michel Roux Jr among its customers.

Paul explains how he tripled productivity with a fraction of the staff after inventing the world’s first turkey plucking line. This episode has advice on making wise capital investments and how leaders should never be afraid to forge their own path. You'll also learn why implementing a bonus for low paid staff was the best thing Paul ever did for the business.

The full podcast episode is available on all major platforms and immediately below. Click through to find it on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Acast, Spotify and SoundCloud and subscribe to make sure you don't miss out on new episodes. We've also got some behind the scenes action to set the scene and showcase why KellyBronze is such an exciting business to learn from.

Full podcast episode audio

BONUS: How KellyBronze MD Paul Kelly met the challenge of COVID-19

Go behind the scenes

"Identify where you want your business to be in the marketplace and make sure you produce for it. I’ve seen so many people in our sector that have gotten into the middle. They're neither cheap enough, nor doing something special enough. The mid-market is very difficult."

Paul Kelly – KellyBronze

Paul's new plucking line took an investment, but it was one worthwhile

Find out when best to invest in your business

Hear what a typical day for Paul is like

"If you're not willing to show your customer what you do, and be proud of it, you really have to ask yourself a question: are you doing what your customer wants? It’s common sense."

Paul Kelly – KellyBronze

Think like Paul and get focused on clearly defining your unique selling point

Introduction to developing a clear USP

Making changes

"Make employees feel valued, that’s number one. Treat them like you’d like to be treated yourself. It can be expensive, but the paybacks are there."

Paul Kelly – KellyBronze

Take a leaf out of Paul's book by using good communication to make effective change

Develop good lines of communication throughout your business
  • location: South East (England)
  • business size: 50-99 People
  • business type: Food manufacturing

Lessons learnt

Despite there not being an obvious better way, Paul's natural curiosity helped direct him to a production approach that was transferable from one application to another.

Paul ensures that he gets out and about, doing media pieces or presenting at food fairs, to both put his brand front and centre and bring the family business element to the fore.

Wanting to ensure he keeps his best people and look after them as best he can, Paul found a way of linking performance to a monetary incentive and it's really worked for the business.